Data Domain, Mimosa, Dive Into E-Discovery

Vendors re-focus their compliance efforts by targeting data retention and open APIs

June 24, 2008

4 Min Read
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Data Domain and Mimosa are adding flesh to the bones of their compliance strategies this week, ramping up their efforts around e-discovery.

With email key to unearthing the events surrounding the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and other recent scandals, vendors are clearly looking to tap into users desire to tighten their messaging systems.

First up is de-dupe specialist Data Domain, which unveiled its "retention lock" software today.

The software basically locks down individual files for a set retention period, according to Jeff Sosa, Data Domain’s director of product management, ensuring that they cannot be tampered with in the event of a legal dispute.

“It’s to ensure secure retention of data on Data Domain’s systems,” he says, explaining that this lets IT administrators store de-duplicated files in an unalterable state for a specified period of time, regardless of whether it is from a backup or archive application.Based on Write Once, Read Many (WORM) technology, Data Domain claims that the retention lock is the first such offering for high-speed inline de-dupe, where data is compressed on the fly while it is being sent to the target.

“The retention lock is built into our OS; we can enable it with a license fee,” explains Sosa, adding that the retention lock is available on any of Data Domain’s systems, from the DD120 up to the high-end DD690 and DDX arrays.

Pricing for the retention lock software license, which is available now, starts at $500 for the low-end DD120 device, rising to $24,000 for the much larger DD690.

Data Domain’s Sosa told Byte and Switch that the vendor, which competes with Diligent, has a “handful” of early adopters using the retention lock, but only one of these, the Department of Water in Perth, Australia, has been made public.

The de-dupe specialist is not the only vendor focusing its attention on compliance at the moment.Tomorrow, for example, archiving specialist Mimosa Systems will extend the reach of its NearPoint archiving system with three compliance-related announcements. These include the company’s first Software Developer Kit (SDK), the establishment of a software developer network, and support for the emerging Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) standard. These initiatives should make it simpler for customers to integrate NearPoint with other business applications, according to Mimosa.

The vendor started off focusing on email archiving, but its spotlight has shifted. ”More than half of our customers use our product for e-discovery,” says Scott Whitney, Mimosa’s vice president of product management, which expects to pass the 500 customer mark by the end of this quarter.

With this change comes the requirement of linking the archiving solution to a variety of unstructured data types. Historically, this has been a difficult task because application vendors stored information in some many different formats.

“Mimosa realizes that the email archiving is best leveraged when other applications can put data into the archive, get data out of the archive, or manage data within the archive,” says Brian Babineau, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Instead of dedicating engineering resources to partners that can perform each of these activities, Mimosa is publishing this SDK.”

The Mimosa SDK, which is available for free, allows customers, developers, and VARs to extend NearPoint’s reach to information repositories, such as backup tapes, records management solutions, and CRM applications. The SDK also includes APIs and sample applications that allow partners to build up NearPoint’s base features.The development kit can be used to discover and view archived content via NearPoint’s search index; increase or decrease retention periods, and modify metadata without having to re-archive the system, according to the vendor. The kit can also manage litigation holds on archived content, and export content from the NearPoint archive into partner repositories.

The vendor will also announce the Mimosa Developer Network (MDN) tomorrow, which is designed to help partners take advantage of the new development functions. The network provides access to technical support; discounts on implementation and configuration training; and access to the vendor’s testing environment so other products can be certified. Kazeon, FaceTime, and RenewData are three early supporters of the program.

Increasingly, storage vendors are joining forces to tackle the often complex issue of e-discovery. Kazeon, for example, recently joined forces with Attenex, now part of FTI consulting, to develop e-discovery services.

Mimosa’s EDRM, an extension to the Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard, is designed to ease the transfer of electronically stored information throughout the e-discovery process. Mimosa will support the EDRM XML within its NearPoint platform to extend archived content into review and analytics applications.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Diligent Technologies Corp.

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • FaceTime Communications Inc.

  • Kazeon Systems Inc.

  • Mimosa Systems Inc.

  • RenewData Corp.0

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